At the Websummit I met Jojanneke van den Bosch. She was 14 years old when her mom passed away, five months after she already lost her dad. SShe and her sister were unable to find a foster family because her sister was 18 years old. Fighting for their home because they were not on the lease, they had to sell nearly all of their belongings. It was as if they were walking a tightrope and hoping to make it to the other side without falling off.
It motivated her to help other kids in these situations, kids all over the world which often remain invisible. Every day, 5760 kids all over the world lose their parents. She launched Westernorphans.org and recently gave a TED Talk in Delft.
On the Westernorphans.org platform you can read chapters of her book ‘So, you’re an orphan now.’ This book is an collection of 24 short stories of her live as an orphan with practical tips. She wants to inspire kids, encourage them to help each other out and and offer them support. Orphans often find it hard to ask for help, for example on social media. Teenagers are really busy with their own image to the outside world and for them it’s really important to be seen as one of the cool kids and not as an orphan. It’s really hard at that age to reveal their vulnerability, especially in the jungle that we call high school.
TEDxDelft TED Talk
Watch Jojanneke’s very passionate TED Talk in Delft here, where she explains her motivation and goals: